Access to professional help may increase the odds that Americans ages 45 to 64 will be optimistic about their long-term financial health.

Researchers at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Minneapolis, have published statistics on boomer investor psychology in a summary of results from a survey of 947 U.S. boomers conducted in late October.

Only 29% of the participants said they have worked with a financial professional, the Thrivent researchers report.

About 70% of the participants who had worked with a professional said they are optimistic about their long-term financial health, compared with 55% of the participants who have managed their finances without professional help, the researchers report.

About 58% of all of the survey participants are somewhat or very doubtful about the likelihood that their retirement savings will last throughout their retirement.

When asked about short-term responses to the financial crisis, 33% said they had cut back on giving to their favorite charities, and 20% said they had canceled holiday travel plans. About 12% said they had lost sleep due to market worries.

When asked about strategies for coping with financial stress, 46% cited spending quality time with relatives; 11%, eating comfort food; 6%, taking antacids; and 6%, going shopping.